Cambridge police base first to be developed under new Police-Tainui agreement

A proposal for a new police base in Cambridge will be the first to be developed under the terms of a new partnership agreement signed between Police and Tainui Group Holdings (TGH) today.

The partnership – signed at a ceremony in Kirikiriroa, Hamilton today, ushers in a new model for the public sector for constitutional and institutional relationships. Commissioner of Police Andrew Coster said the new partnership will help build stronger Waikato communities.

“This partnership is an important milestone in Police’s effort to deliver on the organisation’s objectives under Te Huringa o Te Tai strategy, specifically to improve outcomes for Maaori, including through partnerships with Iwi.

“The agreement signed today, will support the build of modern, sustainable, community-minded Police facilities across the rohe while providing a platform for working with our partners for effective policing and community outcomes.

“Our investment in Iwi Maaori partnerships is one our key priorities under Te Huringa o te Tai. This first step forward together with Tainui is a visible, and tangible example of this investment, and I am positive this can be a building block toward achieving better outcomes for Maaori in the Waikato region.”

Parekawhia McLean, Chair of Te Whakakitenga o Waikato, the Waikato-Tainui parliament, welcomed the new partnership.

She said the partnership reflects the strong relationship between the Crown and Waikato-Tainui under Te Tiriti o Waitangi and will support the Police goals as set out in their strategy, Te Huringa o Te Tai.

“We welcome this partnership with the Police, which reflects our shared values. Alongside this, our joint development of a new Cambridge Police base provides a tangible starting point to work together to build stronger Waikato communities. It demonstrates the strong relationship between the Crown and Maaori in the Waikato and is a step towards a new model of practical partnership,” she said.

TGH and Police are in the final stages of negotiation for the Cambridge project.

A significant number of Police stations across the region are situated on whenua owned by Waikato-Tainui returned to the iwi as part of the Raupatu settlement with the Crown in 1995.

New Cambridge Police Base

At 416 sqm, the proposed new Cambridge police base, located on the site of the old police house at the corner of Victoria/Fort St in Cambridge, will accommodate up to 18 police officers.

The proposed design has a distinctive, community-friendly design based on a waka ama (double-hulled canoe) and will incorporate many elements reflecting the local environment and community, including visual elements of significance to Waikato-Tainui and use of the region’s Hineura stonework.

The proposal is for TGH to construct and own the building, and the whenua, while Police will invest in specific tenant fitout. TGH will lease the building to Police for an initial period of 20 years.

Chris Joblin, CEO of Tainui Group Holdings, says the Cambridge proposal is likely to be the first of a number in the region, in line with the new partnering agreement.

Where new or re-modelled police facilities are required within the Waikato-Tainui rohe, the agreement with Police guarantees TGH has first-bid rights on any commercial property developments and both parties will be obliged to negotiate in good faith. Police is not obligated to select TGH as the development partner if the two parties cannot agree on commercial terms.

“We believe this will be an innovative model of partnership, and an opportunity for TGH to bring our expertise and resources to help Police refresh and re-model their bases in a community-aligned way over the coming years to help build stronger communities,” says Mr Joblin.

Construction of the new Cambridge Police Base is proposed to commence in March 2021 and planned to be completed in early February 2022.

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